Fun Elkwater Summer Activities : Cypress Hills Provincial Park
Traveling east on the Trans-Canada highway 30 kms from Medicine Hat you come to a large Alberta Parks sign reading Cypress Hills Provincial Park. Taking this 34km right turn headed south transports you to an unexpected forested park. A beautiful location you would likely see in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies but instead sits tucked away in the SE corner of Alberta. Discover the fun Elkwater summer activities that await for you for your next roadtrip or holiday.
This summer I had the pleasure of spending a night in the parks rustic comfort camping cabins. To do some hiking and mountain biking as well experience all the other fun Elkwater summer activities. I wrote the experience in my recent story over at ZenSeekers and can read it for yourself HERE.
Mindful Explorer’s Top Elkwater Summer Activities
Comfort Camping in an Elkwater Cabin
Anyone that follows my blog knows I’m a big fan of owning less belongings and investing into experiences. The rustic cabins of Elkwater are a great way to enjoy a weekend without worrying about that big RV, travel trailer or even a tent. Just show up with a sleeping bag, food and energy for a weekend of adventure and fun Elkwater summer activities. Cabins are located up the forested section of the Elkwater campground or lakeside in the Firerock campsite.
Mountain Biking the Elkwater Trails
With names like Last Grizzly, Horseshoe Canyon and Beaver Creek trail you know that some fun mountain biking awaits in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. For fun Elkwater summer activities mountain biking is easily at the top of the list. There are currently 29 recognized trails in the park covering over 304 kilometres.
Pedal to the top of Horsehoe Canyon or Old Baldy for great park viewpoints. Connect Shoreline trail to Sunset, Spruce Coulee and finally TransCanada Trail. This link-up makes a full day cross-country epic out and back adventure. The options are endless and a special thanks to 670 Collective for all their hard work maintaining the trails.
Check out this video from the Last Grizzly trail posted on the 670 Collective website.
Elkwater Hiking Trails, Lookouts and Interpretive Routes
Over 22 maintained and sanctioned trails await and three of the trails are handicap accessible. Check-out the Elkwater hiking trail listing for more information HERE. Explore over 60 kilometres of trails to experience the lush forests or the shoreline boardwalks. According to the Alberta parks website there is even some geo-caching sites along the park trails which is a fun activity for young or old.
The best bang for the buck trail for distance and views to me is the short elevated climb to the top of Old Baldy Lookout. From here you get great views looking down at the Visitor Centre, beach and park to the east. The trail continues off the the west and even connects to the Firerock campgrounds and rustic cabins.
Stand-up Paddleboarding and Canoeing on Elkwater Lake
This deep 4km long lake is the largest body of water in the provincial park. Elwater Lake is great for boats, beach fun and of course stand-up paddleboard or canoeing. If you have ever wanted to try out paddleboarding the park is the perfect place to do so with their rental booth. Paddle, lifejacket and boards are all available to get out on the water for a fresh and fun new experience.
Maybe something a little more relaxed or maybe a water picnic? Grab a canoe from the park rental booth as well, everything you need is availabe just like paddleboarding. Float along the shoreline in the comfort and ease of a canoe while enjoying the countless shorebirds that call the lake home.
With a small marina and boat launch as well as the full beach, playground and bathroom/change facilities there is plenty of water based Elkwater summer activities.
Visitor Information Centre, Interpretive Display and Beach Area
Located just past the beach and marina is the Elkwater Cypress Hills provincial park visitor centre. The visitor centre is home to a very indepth interpretive display showcasing the geological history of the region. There is also great information on the local flora and fauna. Across from the Visitor Centre is the 9-hole disc golf course, the marina and the wonderful beach. Along the beach you will find the bike and boat rental shop as well as ice cream and concession stand which is always a treat.
The Visitor Centre is also the best place to go for more information on all the Elkwater summer activites possible when you visit. Their information desk is and centre is open 7 days a week in summer (May 15 – Sept 3) from 9am to 5pm. Right next door to the visitor centre is Camp Cookhouse restaurant and small grocery store as well.
Elkwater Cypress Hills Provincial Park – If You Go
The mountain bikes, canoes, and paddleboards, including lifejackets and oars, can be rented from the park’s Boat and Bike rental booth .
Check into Alberta Parks to start planning your beer tour and other activities in the area.
Travel Alberta also has lots of great information about things to do and places to see in Elkwater, Cypress Hills Provincial Park.
Canalta Hotels has partnered up with a collection of destinations across Southern Alberta. Stay a Night & See a Sight. They’re set to help you plan your trip.
Disclosure: This post was published in partnership with ZenSeekers